The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans' pension for them,and they were left to care for themselves.
In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000. 

Since then, the VFW's voice had been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI bill for the 20th century, the development of the national cemetery system and the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, VFW won a long-fought victory with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st Century, giving expanded educational benefits to America's active-duty service members, and members of the Guard and Reserves, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The VFW also has fought for improving VA medical centers services for women veterans.

Besides helping fund the creation of the Vietnam, Korean War, World War II and Women in Military Service memorials, the VFW in 2005 became the first veterans' organization to contribute to building the new Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial, which opened in November 2010. 
Annually, the nearly 2 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries contribute more than 8.6 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week.  From providing over $3 million in college scholarships and savings bonds to students every year, to encouraging elevation of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the president's cabinet, the VFW is there.

In 1965, a handful of veterans banded together with the idea to form a VFW Post in Holden.  Veterans from Holden and surrounding communities were contacted, many of which expressed considerable interest.  On January 22, 1966, Holden Memorial Post 5844 became a chartered organization of the Veterans of Foreign Wars with 54 members. On April 18, 1966, the Post's Auxiliary became a chartered organization with 25 members.
VFW Post 5844 Charter Members
January 23, 1966

 James F. Allgood
Theodore W. Geer
Harold C. Myers
 Glen F. Alvis
 Charles E. Griggs
 William A. Page
 Melvin G. Anderson
 Jackie D. Hall
 J. Paul Pirch
 Arthur L. Barnett (Officer)
 Lawrence E. Hancock (Officer)
 Tommy L. Rymer
 Elmer L. Blum
 Donald L. Hartwell
 William V. Sexson
 Herbert E. Boyer
 Fredrick H. Heiman
 Varner N. Shippy
 George H. Bush
 Lawrence W. Holland
 Charles B. Shore
 Claude T. Bradbury
 Ernest L. Hoover (Officer)
 Virgil L. Sisk
 Joseph W. Burden
 Gary W. Jones (Commander)
 Bill W. Snyder
 Hubert V. Byler
 James D. Kane
 Chester E. Sparks
 Robert G. Cantrell
 Louis K. Leavy
 Sam A. Stout
 E. Benjamin Cast
 Vern R. Lloyd
 Herby Thomason
 Albert R.Copeland
 Leonard B. Loveall
 Robert R. Thurman
 Paul S. Courtenay
 Samuel M. Manford
 James T. Watson
 Robert L. Durrett
 Charles E. Martin
 Edward R. Tuprin
 Charles E. Edwards (Officer)
 Dennis W. Maupin (Officer)
 Ben Van Sant
 Louis C. Eldredge
 Donald g. Miller
 Leslie A. Watterson
 Leo F. Grethen
 James H. Murphy (Officer)
 Lawrence J. Zvacek

 VFW Auxiliary Post 5844 Charter Members
April 18, 1966

 Agnes M. Alvis
Joan Hall (Officer)
 Dorothy E. Page
 Shirley Barnett
 Ruby Hillsman
 Helen M. Pirch
 Georgia M. Blum
 Mary Lee Hoover (Officer)
 Patsy Lee Rymer (Officer)
 Peggy L. Bradbury (Officer)
 Theresa C. Huber
 Betty J. Sexson (Officer)
 Dorothy M. Brown (Officer)  Myrtle J. Jones (President)
 Minnie B. Smith (Officer)
 Peggy S. Bush (Officer)
 Sylvia Mary Leavy
 Eva Talley
 Maggie Dooly (Officer)
 Peggy Maupin
 Dorothy Turpin (Officer)
 Sarah F. Geer
 Wanda Faye Miller
 Margaret A. Wood
 Carmella Griggs




Our programs support our service members while they are on the front line, as they are being discharged and long after they return. Your tax-deductible donation will be immediately directed to the VFW programs where your support is most urgently needed.